MN Department of Employment & Economic Development Resources


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Minnesota Small Business Relief Grants

This program will make available $10,000 grants to Minnesotan owned and operated businesses that can demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. A total of $60.3 million is available for grant awards which will be selected through a computer-generated, randomized selection process.

Awards will be disbursed and administered by qualified local and regionally based nonprofit organizations. Grant funds received by individual businesses shall be used for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility bills, and other similar expenses that occur or have occurred since March 1, 2020, in the regular course of business. These are grants and no repayment will be required.

If your business plans to apply, please check back here for the online grant application link. Applications will be accepted BY LAW FOR A 10-DAY PERIOD BEGINNING Tuesday, June 23 through Thursday, July 2. Meanwhile, you can review eligibility criteria, see frequently asked questions and see what types of questions will be on the application.

COVID-19 Preparedness Plan Template and Instructions

Word Document | PDF (April 30, 2020)

The completed business preparedness plan is not required to submitted to DLI for approval, but needs to be made available upon request. 

Non-Critical Sector industrial and office-based businesses that are non-customer facing are allowed to reopen as long as they have created a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan.

Businesses that were included on the Critical Sector list and already open prior to April 27 are not required to create a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan.

Checklist guidelines for creating a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan – Word document | PDF (April 30, 2020)

For Businesses: Safely Returning to Work

Beginning on June 10, 2020:

Restaurants and bars can reopen for indoor service as long as they:

  • Have adopted and implemented a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan
  • Ensure a minimum of 6 feet of distance between tables
  • Limit indoor occupant capacity to no more than 50% up to 250 persons
  • Do not exceed 250 persons in outdoor spaces
  • Limit table service to 4 persons, or 6 if part of one family unit
  • Require reservations
  • Require workers to wear masks at all times and strongly encourage customers to wear masks when not eating or drinking

Gyms, studios and fitness centers can reopen as long as they:

  • Have adopted and implemented a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan
  • Ensure social distancing (6 ft between persons) and limit occupant capacity to no more than 25%; not to exceed 250 persons for indoor and outdoor settings each
  • Strongly encourage that masks be worn by workers and users
  • Establish regular disinfection routine and train staff
  • Ensure ≥6 ft of distancing between equipment; greater distancing should be implemented for treadmills and other aerobic activity that encourages high exertion
  • Group exercise classes should only be offered if distancing requirements can be maintained and with no person-to-person physical contact

Seated and recreational entertainment and meeting venues can reopen as long as they:

  • Have adopted and implemented a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan
  • Limit occupant capacity to no more than 25% not to exceed 250 persons
  • Ensure social distancing and a minimum of 6 feet between persons
  • Strongly encourage masks for workers and customers

Personal care services (such as hair salons, barbershops and tattoo parlors) can reopen to provide services indoor as long as they:

  • Have adopted and implemented a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan
  • Limit number of clients inside the business at any time to ensure 6 feet of distance between persons except when providing services
  • Limit occupant capacity to no more than 50% not to exceed 250 persons
  • See clients by appointment only; do not allow walk-ins
  • Require workers and clients to wear masks at all times. For services where the client cannot wear a mask, the worker should add a face shield in addition to their mask.

All workers who have previously been working from home must continue doing so.

Effective May 4, 2020:

  • Customer-facing retail businesses that sell goods are permitted to engage in curbside or outside pick-up and delivery as long as they:
    • Do not permit customers to enter the business premises.
    • Have created a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan that follows MDH and CDC guidelines and meets OSHA standards.
    • Are following the health and safety protocols outlined in EO 20-48, including conducting health screenings of workers

All workers who are able to work from home should continue to do so.

More information here